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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

NBA Play Offs Conference Finals Picks 2013

I am pretty sure that not many would have picked the Memphis Grizzlies to get through to the Western Conference Finals, at least not at the start of the Play Offs. However, they have taken advantage of a couple of banged up teams to move through to face the San Antonio Spurs, a team that a lot predicted would be back in the Western Conference Finals after their collapse at this stage last season.

San Antonio are the favourites in my opinion to come through an win this series as they have the experience and previous Play Off success to fall back on, while Memphis are in unchartered territory. My other concern for the Grizzlies is that they have had the fortune of playing teams with significant injuries that have made them weaker and San Antonio are certainly healthier than the Clippers or the Thunder.

I'd fancy San Antonio to come through in 6 tough games.

The other side has seen the Indiana Pacers come through to take on the Miami Heat and this was the match up that everyone was looking forward to at the start of the season. Indiana had a 2-1 lead against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals and Miami were struggling a little before putting together three straight wins and a lot of people would have thought that experience would give the Pacers a better chance in any rematch.

However, Danny Granger has missed most of the season and that has left the Pacers as an inconsistent offense with no one scorer they can really rely on when it comes down to the crunch. Indiana remain very good defensively, while their size is definitely going to give Miami plenty to think about when it comes to grabbing significant boards.

Indiana also won 2 of the 3 regular season games too this season and so there will be no fear on their side that they can upset the Heat. However, I think Miami have a little too much talent and it would be surprising if they are not back in the NBA Finals for the third year in succession and in with a real chance of defending their crown earned last season.

The Pacers are likely to make life tough for Miami at times in this series, but I think the Heat are likely to get through in 5 or 6 games.

May 21st
Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs Game 2 Pick: It wasn't the most surprising of blow outs in Game 1 as the Memphis Grizzlies struggled with their mental pressure of being in the first Conference Finals for the franchise. They never really got their teeth stuck in the game and were beaten by 22 points.

I think Game 2 will be a lot closer, but I still think San Antonio can make the necessary adjustments to their game plan and get more production from Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to cover again.

There is a chance the game goes over the total again, but I think the Spurs pull 2-0 ahead with a win of around 7-10 points.

May 22nd
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat Game 1 Pick: The long lay off for the Miami Heat didn't help them in Game 1 of the Semi Final series with the Chicago Bulls, but perceived disrespectful comments from Frank Vogel and last season's tough Semi Final series should have kept them much sharper.

While the Pacers have the size and solid defense to cause some problems, their offense can be sketchy at best, particularly on the road. If Chris Bosh keeps playing at a high level, it will open things up in the paint for the Heat and I can see Miami getting off to a good start.

May 24th
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat Game 2 Pick: Too many turnovers and offensive fouls from both teams in Game 1 made it a bit of a stop-start game, and I also think the quick turnaround will help the Miami Heat offense after their long lay off before Game 1.

I expect Indiana will also have gained some confidence from Game 1 too and they can certainly score against this defense. With the over being 6-1 in the last 7 between the teams, I do think this one will go over, although the total points have been increasing in the last couple of days.

May 25th
San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies Game 3 Pick: The Memphis Grizzlies may be 0-2 down the series, but they know they are capable of turning this around, while San Antonio will remember blowing the same lead in the Western Conference Finals twelve months ago.

Both of these teams found their offensive groove in Game 2 and I do think the additional time off between games will meant they are fresh enough to keep going on that front. Like yesterday, I'll take the over in this one.

May 26th
Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers Game 3 Pick: I can't be the only one that is absolutely fascinated by the Eastern Conference Finals as the games head to Indianapolis with the series tied 1-1. Both teams have won their game late, but the Pacers may secretly be wondering if they shouldn't have a 2-0 lead in the series already.

Indiana are certainly better at home with 6 straight wins in the Play Offs, winning by an average of 14 points per game, but Miami have won all 4 road games they have played by the same margin per game. Hard to separate the teams, but both are getting to the foul line and finding a way to make the other defense work that much harder. That means I'll back this one to go over, which is 7-1 in the last 8 games in the series.

May 27th
San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies Game 4 Pick: It is going to be interesting to see how the Memphis Grizzlies recover from the second haymaker taken in this series- twice in a row, the Grizzlies have been beaten in overtime and are now 3-0 down in the series, a situation that no team in the NBA have ever recovered from.

Memphis have had their most successful season in franchise history and they won't want to see it end at home with a sweep by the Spurs. The Grizzlies could easily be up 2-1 in the series and I do think they will find enough pride to take this series back to Texas for at least one more game.

May 28th
Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers Game 4 Pick: The Miami Heat put on an offensive clinic in Game 3 and have taken back home court advantage in this series, although they will be looking to land another haymaker to the jaw and have the Indiana Pacers set up for a knock out blow in Miami on Thursday.

Both teams have continued to get enough offensively to cover the total points in this series and I haven't seen enough to think this game won't follow the same trend. Both get to the foul line and both teams can shoot the three ball well enough for this one to become the ninth time in ten games in the series that the overs comes in.

May 30th
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat Game 6 Pick: This series continues to fascinate everyone heading into what could be the final twist in the series. Both teams are aware what the other can do and both are finding enough offense to stick with the over... That is now 9-1 in the last 10 games between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers and I see no reason to think this one won't surpass the total.

June 3rd
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat Game 7 Pick: It has been a very close series and one that is tough to separate the two teams. Game 7's have favoured the home team in recent years, but I can't imagine Indiana letting Miami get away from them easily in this one.

All of the pressure is on the Heat in this game as the favourites to win the NBA Championship for the second season in succession, but Indiana are very confident having already won here once in the series and possibly should have made that twice. I can see the Pacers doing their utmost to keep this close at the least so taking the points looks the call.

MY PICKS: 21/05 San Antonio Spurs - 5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
22/05 Miami Heat - 8 Points @ 1.95 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
24/05 Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers Over 182.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
25/05 Memphis Grizzlies-San Antonio Spurs Over 180 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
26/05 Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat Over 181.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
27/05 Memphis Grizzlies - 3 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
28/05 Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat Over 184.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
30/05 Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers Over 185 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
03/06 Indiana Pacers + 7 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

Conference Finals: 4-4, - 0.26 Units

Play Off Semi Finals10-11, - 1.49 Units
First Round Play Offs21-18, + 2.19 Units
April Final6-9, - 3.40 Units
March Final20-16-1, + 3.08 Units
February Final6-3, + 2.61 Units
January Final5-14, - 9.31 Units
December Final17-7-1, + 9.19 Units
November Final13-8-1, + 8.03 Units

Season 201398-86-3, + 10.90 Units
Season 2012: 79-53-1, + 27.48 Units

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